White Among ‘Survivor’ Castaways
By Scott Smith
Times Record • firstname.lastname@example.org
In a matter of days, a Van Buren resident was surprised to learn that she would be featured on the upcoming TV show, “Survivor: Samoa.”
Natalie White, 26, almost felt shock when the show’s producers approached her about being one of 20 “cast-away” contestants on the popular reality-television show, which will premiere at 7 p.m. Sept. 17 on CBS. She and her boyfriend, Justin Thomas, originally auditioned for “The Amazing Race,” but White was later invited to compete on “Survivor: Samoa,” which is the 19th installment in the “Survivor” franchise.
“It’s absolutely exciting,” White said during a telephone interview Monday. “Justin and I auditioned for ‘The Amazing Race,’ and at the last second, (producers) gave me a call and asked, ‘Do you want to do ‘Survivor?’ I talked to Justin, and he said, ‘Go for it.’”
White admitted she has been a longtime fan of the “Survivor” shows, previously building her job, workout and social schedules around TV viewing.
“I really didn’t expect to get onto the show,” said White, a Little Rock native who grew up in Bryant and graduated with a degree in marketing from the University of Central Arkansas in Conway. “You can be a fan of things, but think that they might be something that you can’t do. Anyone who knows me knows that I’m not really an outdoors person.”
Production on “Survivor: Samoa” took 39 days, and the schedule and events that drastically altered White’s eating and sleeping schedules in front of the cameras were “difficult and different,” yet thrilling, she said.
“Yeah, I am competitive,” said White, who works in pharmaceutical sales and loves movies, traveling, working out and hosting get-togethers for relatives and friends. “In pharmaceuticals, you have to be a little competitive, and it’s something I’ve been in my everyday life, from academics to me growing up and playing sports.”
White spent much of her teenage years playing basketball and volleyball, while making a little time for soccer and a lot of time for competitive cheerleading. She shyly stated that she never “started” on her sports teams, but she gave 100 percent effort and played often in each sport.
“With ‘Survivor: Samoa,’ it was my first TV show, and it was great,” White said before laughing. “But I probably won’t try out for any other shows.”
White then paused for a few seconds.
“But if someone presented me with an opportunity, I would sure look into it, and I would be flattered that they asked,” she said. “I’m not really pursuing that type of career, because I’m looking to get back into pharmaceuticals again, but ‘Survivor’ was fun.”
For information, visit www.survivor.com